Written by Father Michael
The snows are blowing again. Winter is here. Last Saturday after Mass I drove to New Buffalo listening to Garrison Keillor. He was doing a bit about true Minnesotan men. When a blizzard comes it is time for them to get out. As I continued my trip the Lake effect snow got worse and worse but I was undeterred in my journey. I arrived and picked up my friends and then drove to Heston for dinner in the blowing snow (we passed a dozen restaurants on the way). The sole woman in the car echoed Keillor, “men” give them snow and they have go drive in it. Her husband earlier in the day insisted they drive to Kalamazoo in the blowing snow.
We just completed the Christmas season and the tales of three journeys. All were beset with dangers. Mary and Joseph trip to Bethlehem, probably with a few kinsmen was relatively safe, except that she was pregnant and the arduous trip was not easy. The trip of the Magi was an adventurous journey full of wonder and on cloudy nights when there was no star to guide them, it must have seemed foolhardily. Then the most dangerous, when Joseph and Mary set off with Jesus fleeing to Egypt to escape Herod’s bloodbath at the same time exposing themselves to the dangers of travelling in the wilderness alone.
We are all on a journey but it is not the foolhardy journey I did to Michigan and Heston in a snow storm, it is a journey home to God. It is a journey that does contain a lot of adventure and some danger. There are many cloudy nights that we cannot see our way and even doubt. We get lost and may be attacked by evil along the way. Along the way we may find other attractions that hold our attention and make us forget what our goal really is.
What makes Mary and Joseph and the Magi different than us is that they saw and kept their goal in mind, Mary and Joseph to do God’s will and the Magi to find the Christ child. We pray to God that his will be our will, not our will be His. We want God to find us. We want God to do the work for us.
God created us for the journey. God wants to share His goodness with us. God is with us to help us, to pick us up when we fall. God will only be happy when heaven is full. Sometimes we forget that. The journey is only tough when we do not accept God’s grace and love, when we forget that we are not home but on a journey home to God. When we get caught up in the adventures of the journey we can get distracted away from God. Man does like the adventure and the meal at Heston may be a good reward and the safe return to where he started may be also be a reward and a triumphant “I did it”, not “Look what God did for me”. Heaven is not here on earth but we can find it on earth in accepting God’s will for us learning to do it.